October 22 2014 Latest news:
Janine Rasiah, Senior Reporter
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
The owners of a popular Royal Docks Chinese kiosk are vowing to fight an eviction notice from their landlords.
Lee Thresher and his wife Lisa Kwok, of Wok On, have been told to vacate their premises near the Emirates Cable Car by landlords Royal Docks Management Authority (RODMA) despite a loyal following.
The couple, who employ two members of staff, say closing Wok On will create a monopoly of unhealthy burger, doughnut and fish and chip kiosks, all owned by the same person.
“We have worked hard here for two years to build up the relationships with our customers and improve the business,” Lee said.
“I am heartbroken to have my efforts to continue to trade thwarte and closure of my outlet will not only dash my ambitions for running a healthy and ethical business but losing everything I have invested in and worked for.”
The couple have appealed the eviction notice, applied for an injunction and have been awarded a short stay of execution ahead of a hearing at Bow County Court on Monday.
MP Lyn Brown is among those who has offered the couple her support, while a petition calling for RODMA to reconsider its decision has amassed more than 300 signatures from local residents and people living further afield, including Rita Gerrard who has walked the 20 minute journey from Canning Town to the concession twice a week for the past six months.
Mary Vaughan, who lives just two minutes walk from the concession, said: “If this goes it leaves what I consider to be rubbish, just burgers and fish and chips. It would be such a shame if this goes as we all feel very strongly that we want this to stay.”
Mike Luddy, managing director of RODMA, said the decision to evict Wok On had been made as the company was not deemed to be commercially viable.
“We are a business that needs to create a revenue and we need businesses on our site that are going to generate revenue for us,” he said, adding that RODMA had given Wok On a year to improve its turnover but it had failed to do so.